A year ago, the average 30-year rate was 4.12 percent; the 15-year average was 3.22 percent.
Centene makes $6.3B bid for fellow insurer Health Net
Centene has jumped into the mix of managed-care companies scrambling to bulk up as the health care overhaul changes their business with a $6.3-billion bid for fellow insurer Health Net.
The deal announced Thursday gives St. Louis-based Centene a chance to expand in two hot growth areas for health insurers, the state- and federally-funded Medicaid program for the poor and people with disabilities; and the federally-supported Medicare Advantage program, which has seen its overall enrollment triple over the past decade.
FDA clears drug for leading form of cystic fibrosis
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials have approved a new combination drug for the most common form of cystic fibrosis, the debilitating inherited disease that causes internal mucus buildup, lung infections and early death. But it will come at a steep price — more than $250,000 for a year's treatment.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared the twice-a-day pill from Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for a variation of cystic fibrosis that affects about 8,500 people in the U.S. who are 12 years and older. The approval notice was posted to the agency's website Thursday.
Google's new app blunders by calling black people 'gorillas'
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's new image-recognition program misfired badly this week by identifying two black people as gorillas, delivering a mortifying reminder that even the most intelligent machines still have lot to learn about human sensitivity.
The blunder surfaced in a smartphone screen shot posted online Sunday by a New York man on his Twitter account, @jackyalcine. The images showed the recently released Google Photos app had sorted a picture of two black people into a category labeled as "gorillas."
3 Supreme Court justices maintain substantial stock holdings
WASHINGTON (AP) — New personal financial disclosures from the Supreme Court show that Chief Justice John Roberts and two other justices are maintaining significant investments in individual companies' stock.
The details of investments held by Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Stephen Breyer are in annual financial reports released Thursday by the federal judiciary.
Roberts holds stock worth $250,000 to $500,000 each in Time Warner Inc. and Microsoft Corp., and smaller investments in other technology and communications companies.
Tesla tops 11,000 vehicles delivered in second quarter
PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla's second-quarter deliveries surged 52 percent to set a company record exceeding 11,000 vehicles.
The Palo Alto, California, company had surpassed 10,000 vehicles for the first time in the first three months of the year and on Thursday said it had broken that record, delivering 11,507 vehicles.
Tesla makes only one car, the Model S sedan, but CEO Elon Musk said last month he expects to begin deliveries of an SUV, the Model X, in three or four months. Tesla began 2015 with 20,000 reservations for the Model X. The company has said it plans to deliver 55,000 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs this year.
Cuba launches 1st public Wi-Fi hotspots on Havana avenue
HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities have launched public Wi-Fi hotspots along a main avenue that is the heart of Havana's cultural and social life, the first step in government promises to gradually roll out such connectivity options on an island that the Internet revolution has largely passed by.
Authorities have been installing the boxy white routers on buildings along 23rd Street in the Vedado theater, nightclub and business district in recent weeks, and they apparently went live Wednesday night.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average shed 27.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,730.11. The S&P 500 slipped 0.64 of a point, less than 0.1 percent, to 2,076.78. The Nasdaq composite fell 3.91 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 5,009.21.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 3 cents Thursday to close at $56.93 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 6 cents to close at $62.07 in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2.7 cents to close at $2.034 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.1 cent to close at $1.840 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.9 cents to close at $2.822 per 1,000 cubic feet.